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Recently, a friend shared quite a story.  Beth, a mom, a friend, a beauty and an inventor with safety on her mind, developed “Noblo.”  Noblo is a simple tethering device that keeps beach umbrellas “put.” No more impaling umbrellas sailing through the air on an otherwise peaceful, yet windy, day at the beach.

In her quest to seek a manufacturer who could make her Noblo with sustainable fabric, she discovered an ugly truth.  A contact at a manufacturing plant informed her that some supposedly eco-fabrics made out of recycled plastic bottles, were in fact, made from unused plastic bottles – fresh from the bottle-making plant. What?!  Was this an ugly truth, an ugly un-truth or just downright fabricated?

Ok, I thought, why haven’t we heard of this before?  This is the ultimate in green washing.  Is this a sickening hoax?  Surely some simple google-sleuthing would shed some light…nothing yet.  I’ll keep looking.

In the meantime, google-sleuthing did give me some invaluable insight into innovative recycled-product fabrics.  Coffee grinds, marble, corn – you name it…textile companies around the globe are combining used or grown goods for fabrics.

Super Textile, a Taiwan fabric developer and manufacturer, believes “garments made from recycled materials will eventually gain popularity as petroleum resources become scarcer and the cost of production comes down.”  This statement alone, relieves my stress of knowing that creating fabric from unused plastic bottles is possible or even happening.  If it is, it can’t last forever, such is the fate of something made from a non-renewable resource.

Interesting.

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Last week, after walking the dogs, I noticed only 2 garbage bags out in front of our house ready for pickup.  In the recent past, my blood would have started a slow boil as I imagined my husband, the garbage-taker-outer, overlooking or disregarding overflowing garbage bins full of garbage bags that needed to be taken out today.

But wait. What?! Only 2 bags?  Yep. What changed?  We enrolled in Bennett Compost’s Residential compost pickup program.  $15 a month for weekly pickup.  We even signed up at the salon and spa.

According to Bennett Compost’s website, the average person throws away 1600 pounds of garbage each year.  Whereas the average Bennett Compost customer throws away less than half that. “Our weekly pick-up of food scraps and other compostable material helps you to reduce your impact.”  This explains the 2 bags of trash, not bad for a family of 4.  My goal?  Half the trash this year either by recycling or by composting.

And you better get on this composting bandwagon fast. San Francisco already converts over 400 tons of food scraps and other compostable discards into high-grade organic compost every day. The compost then becomes a valuable commodity in sustainable agriculture in that region.  Regs may go into effect that would levy mandatory composting, just like recycling in other cities.  Failure to compost could lead to fines.

“But,” you say “we have a garbage disposal so….” Here’s what you put in your Bennett bucket that you can’t put down the drain: citrus peels, coffee grounds and unbleached filters (this alone used to make a full bag of garbage in our house), corncobs, flowers, dead houseplants, nut shells!  and more….

Do it now! Get into the habit before you are forced to do so.

Inspire your neighbors, teach your kids and co-workers that this is the next very important step.  Get into the habit before you are forced to do so.

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